Should You Eat Fish For Your Omega3 Fatty Acids? Mercury Contamination Of Fish
Should you eat fish to get your Omega3 fatty acids? Isn’t fish contaminated with Mercury and dangerous?
Once you find out how important Omega 3 fatty acids are to so many areas of your health, the next question you need to answer is how do you get your Omega 3 fats?
We’ve pointed out before that Omega 3 fats are most prevalent in fish, that there are plant sources like flax seeds but they don’t have the optimum types, or amounts, of Omega 3 fats that you need.
However although it sounds good getting your Omega3 fatty acids through eating fish there is a problem. You see most, pretty much all, fish is contaminated with various chemicals that we, human beings, in the main, have put into their ocean.
One of the biggest worries is Mercury contamination of fish. According to the EPA there is Mercury contamination in all fish.
Now of course Mercury isn’t something that you want in your body, and your body doesn’t get rid of it all that easily. It’s a particular problem for children.
However the EPA doesn’t recommend that you eliminate all fish from your diet. Fish is healthy, in small quantities, and if you follow some simple guidelines you should be ok eating it. Just don’t eat too much.
It’s ok to eat around 2 serves of fish a week. However for children or pregnant women there’s some more things to think about, because Mercury is more of a risk to children or developing fetuses.
So for pregnant women, or children, you ought to avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. These are high in mercury. And canned salmon has also carried a warning for pregnant women.
Young children, particularly those 5 and under, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of Mercury. The same applies to pregnant women who are, obviously, carrying a child.
If you’re worried about your Mercury levels, possibly because you’ve been eating a relatively high level of fish most at risk of Mercury contamination, it’s quite possible to get your mercury levels tested. If you go to your doctor and you ask for a Mercury test he can organise that test for you.
To find out more about Mercury contamination visit this consumer guide to the mercury levels in various types of fish.
And you can also do a self test to determine your own Mercury levels on this page, just scroll down a little to find their self Mercury test.
If your mercury levels are shown to be too high you may well be advised by your doctor to delay any pregnancy until tests show that your mercury levels have dropped.
But don’t eliminate all fish from your diet just because you’re worried about Mercury. If you like fish you can eat it, sensibly and in relatively small quantities.
But of course if you understand the importance of Omega3 fatty acids in your diet you need a regular supply of fish oil. Preferable a daily supply. And there is the rub. You see for most of us ordinary people eating fish regularly is really expensive. Fish is getting more and more expensive all the time, and as it gets scarcer it gets more expensive.
And although the EPA says it’s ok to eat it, if you’re eating fish to get your Omega3 then there is a better way. Of course if you just love fish then go for it.
But there is still mercury in fish, albeit in small amounts, and there is a solution to getting your Omega3 that doesn’t involve eating fish, that is cheaper than buying fish a couple of times a week, and overcomes the problem with mercury contamination.
It’s using Omega3 fatty acid supplements. These contain fish oil, but the very best fish oil supplements source the cleanest fish in the ocean and then put it through an extremely robust molecular distillation process that means that levels of mercury, as well as other common contaminants of fish oil, are undetectable.
But be aware that although many fish oil supplements claim to be contamination free, there are varying standards, none binding, and not all fish oil supplements are truly contamination free.
But the best fish oil supplements are.
So unless you really love fish, if you’re just eating it for the Omega3 fatty acids it contain, you’re better off using the best fish oil supplements on the market. Use them daily to get your good fats. It’s cheaper than eating fish, and you aren’t getting any mercury at all.
But if you love fish eat it, just be careful.
Filed under: Contamination Of Omega 3 Supplements